A Summer Swan Song
Well, we may be approaching the end of the cricket season without summer actually bursting into any song at all, but at least we have been able to recover various bodies and balls from the swamp in the outfield. Apparently we are still missing one size 11 cricket boot and a lawnmower, and ‘George’ Hornby has lost a small boy!
Enough of this frivolity, let us pick up the story of our season where it was left in our last exciting issue - oooh goody goody!
There is a green field far away out side the city boundary that has seen many a crucifixion though hardly of religious significance, but this last Saturday in May was more dangerous for the umpires than the opposition. Infact Rodley were uncommonly civil (after the game) and even supplied us with extra food!
In a tense game won with 11 balls to spare (all Reader’s by the way), the lasting moment may well be Piggsy pulling yet another fetlock. This forced our skipper Rotundas Maximus to provide yet another startling display of wobbly bowling, producing figures of 5 for 51. Flashing blade McCutcheon saw the win home with a brisk 37 undefeated, though running 12 two’s left him somewhat goosed.
The following day saw the team back at Tong for the second round of the Cup, the opponents Shipley Provident creating the biggest stir when they ate their tea! The game was notable for Buttocks’s best bowling. Brought on for the 18th over with the score at 40 for 1 wicket, Buttocks swept away batsman after batsman with his sheer speed, finishing with figures of 7 for 21. Our usual opening partnership of the Round brothers then proceeded to knock off the 96 runs required in a fairly boring 21 overs. There were comments from spectators that various spiders had started to congregate around the square towards the end of the innings.
June is bursting out all over - well it did - all over Meanwood, which washed out a game that could well have had a bearing on the final League positions. But not to worry, we all found solace in the odd beverage or six!
So the following Saturday we took our wellies to Natwest, were, despite the fact the tide looked like it had just gone out, we managed a full game and another victory. Bucket hands McCutcheon managed another fielding point, whilst those twin wobblies Rule and Higgs produced figures of 46,42,46 - actually 5 for 24 and 5 for 26 respectively. Just to bring Natwest into the game after one of their overpowering teas, a combination of the Round brothers and Asda Hypermarkets scored a total of 6 runs between the three of them before Buttocks (67) and Piggsy (47) saw the lads home. The game also saw the beginning of an amazing run of batting form from Mushy Close who got the first of many scores of 1!
The following day saw our exit from the cup at the hands of Ramgarhia. Quite simply our total of 155 was not enough, even on an interesting wicket. As one looks back on that Sunday from a distance there is perhaps one lesson that we can learn from it - drinking and partying until 4.00 am before a game does have some effect!
In a nutshell then, our defeat in the cup must be placed squarely at the feet of Mr and Mrs Woodhall, who didn’t get the cup match rearranged away from their wedding bash.
Joking apart though, best wishes to both Janet and Richard for their future happiness and many thanks for a wonderful ‘do’.
Anyway we were all able to sober up ready for the following Saturday, and then do it all again, this time at the Barbecue. Thankfully this was a free weekend and so we were all able to let our hair down properly! By the way who was that blonde woman in the white outfit who decided to sleep it off in the long grass at the side of the marquee? Apparently a number of guests decided that she was dying and needed mouth to mouth resuscitation!
After a month of being wet both externally and internally and having played just two games of cricket, July and Adel arrived. Unfortunately some of the squad had decided that they had not drunk enough during the previous month, and took themselves off to Barcelona under the pretext of Fat Boy’s stag do. A somewhat unusual looking side took to the field against the then form horses in the division (no, Mr Ed was not playing for them!). Star of the day was definitely junior Shack with a maiden century. Unfortunately though, having accumulated a team score of 265 we decided to get ourselves into the league record books by allowing Adel to pass it! Not a good day - let’s drown our sorrows!
With the 5 missing players re-instated we headed off to the bright lights of Middleton, but not before some discussion had arisen as to who dare take their car there! Lowly Castlehill were to cause few jitters, being bamboozled by the changing pace of Shack (7/23) and Mushy (3/39). Ken McKinley secured yet another fielding point and the rest of the season became a race between Fat Boy and himself as to who could knobble the umpires first!
New Wortley at home nearly saw another game handed to the opposition as we only just defended a total of 206. Batting first, junior Shack (66) and Ken McKinley (33) were the stars at the stumps, but the early Tong bowling brought the opposition well into the game. Piggsy in particular allowed the umpire to choreograph a new dance routine!
In a game that swung one way then the other, a change of bowling to Buttocks and Rule brought about the collapse of the New Wortley tail and the game was won by 9 runs. Those fielding near Mushy late in the game would have heard the sound of a woodpecker. Fear of the final catch of the match coming his way having a definite effect on the stability of his patella’s.
The away trip to Otley was as usual marked by a visit to the Junction. For many this was to be the highlight of the day as the cricket left much to be desired. Otley managed to amass 183 runs by some means or other, despite the Shackleton family taking 7 wickets for only 64 runs in half the total overs.
A middle order collapse of England proportions left the team on 103 for 8 with 18 overs left. A simple answer was found to save a point. Send out two men who are blind enough to leave anything not straight alone, and big enough so that the bowlers can not see the wickets - enter Hannam and Hastie.
The first weekend in August saw the return of the old foe - Rodley, and a return to form of that demon bowling duo the Wobblies. Bowling out Rodley for 139 in the final over should not have presented a difficult target for our batsmen, but as it turned out, only two items are noteworthy, the skippers magnificent 77 and a single shot from Beaky! Yes, that six off the last ball of the match made Simon an instant media personality.
Two other memories from this Saturday are Mushy’s brilliant dropped catch that managed to touch every part of his upper body, and Buttocks attempt to head the ball for 6 from silly mid-on.
Having had a period where we attempted to get our full value for money from the umpires and scorers, we now found ourselves going through a stretch where a finish by 5 o’clock was the requisite. Now did we beat Pudsey Congs with 8 men, 9 men or 10 men?
With the euphoria of the Rodley victory under our belts and a substantial amount of ‘Tets’, Whitehall were to be no match the following day. Not having bowled for the first half of the season, Ken McKinley now found himself opening the bowling and he produced the perfect wicket for himself.
With Chicken George away scratching in the sun, the senior retainer of the gauntlets was summoned for‚ and that old feared partnership of McCutcheon and Hannam wreaked havoc with the Whitehall minions (sounds good anyway!). Despite a pair of golden ducks from junior Shack and Piggsy, the steadying influence of Buttocks and McKinley saw the team to victory by 5 wickets before 5 o’clock! Guess what we did then!